Trans-sternal thoracotomy - normal postoperative appearance

Discussion:

Bacterial wound culture obtained from incision site: No growth of any pathogenic organism. Vacuum assisted closure of the superficial sternal wound was applied and the patient made an uneventful recovery.

Key points:

  • median sternotomy, the most commonly used incision for open cardiac surgery, carries a 0.5-5% risk of serious complications
  • sternal dehiscence is a common precursor to deep sternal wound infection (mediastinitis)
  • CT is the modality of choice in evaluation of complications after sternotomy
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